Despite cloudy conditions andstated preference for chasing in the 4th innings, as evidenced by their four straight victories at the start of the summer, Dean Elgar decided to bat first after winning the toss in a departure from the strategies that had helped South Africa win the first test by an innings at Lord’s last week.
Elgar’s reasoning was largely influenced by SA’s team selection, which included Simon Harmer as a second spin option after a five-year absence. Given his success for Essex in the County Championship, where he has taken 15 wickets at an average of 17.60 in three matches against Lancashire, Harmer could very well shine in the fourth innings.
On a pitch with noticeable seam movement and extra bounce for England’s quicks, the first innings has been challenging for South Africa for the time being.
South Africa In Danger Of Getting Bowled Out
England took the lead early in the second Test at Emirates Old Trafford with five wickets before lunch in helpful seam-bowling conditions thanks to early strikes from James Anderson in his 100th home Test, before Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes added two each.
When Broad entered the attack, he hit a good length outside off with a hint of away movement. Elgar had needed 16 balls to get off the mark and had been limited to one punched boundary through long-off. South Africa’s captain was out for 12 when third slip fielder Jonny Bairstow knelt down to gather a brilliant catch off Broad
21 runs were scored by Keegan Petersen, but his progress was halted by Broad. Broad picked up his 3ed wicket later in the day when he got the wicket of Kyle Verreynne. He has now become the 8th bowler in international cricket to pick 800 international wickets. Muthiah Muralidharan is at the top of the list.